Thursday, April 02, 2015

Blog #7: What's Up With Parents Who Don't Vaccinate Their Children?

    This article opens with a recap of about a decade ago in Nigeria, rumors were spreading that polio vaccines were surreptitious sterilization efforts. The point of this story about vaccines is that confidence is critical when talking about it or giving it as a health care provider anywhere you go. A new study of more than 20,000 people in five countries looks at why people aren't confident about vaccines. The five countries are Georgia, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and the U.K. All those countries have historically had an issue with a confidence breakdown regarding vaccines, for different reasons: discredited science, rumors or false reports of bad outcomes. In the case of Pakistan, it's a political football. There's [effectively] been a ban by the Taliban on the polio vaccine until the drone strikes stop which is an issue in itself. They found that the people receiving the vaccines have to trust not only the vaccine, but the person giving the injection and the system requiring immunization. Confidence in their health systems, health programs, and in family planning programs is a key factor. The study also surprisingly found that the U.K. had the highest rate of hesitancy [of the five countries surveyed]. This was sparked from the research Andrew Wakefield in 1998 suggesting links between MMR [measles,mumps, and rubella] vaccine and autism.

      I really enjoyed reading this article about vaccines, for my Senior Thesis in high school I wrote a 15 page paper on the importance of vaccines, refuting the common concerns, and giving a possible solution of how to stop the increasing rates of non-vaccination. The study caught my attention because they included countries with very different cultural, economical, and modernization views. I found the main point covered in the study explaining the importance of confidence and trust in their health care providers to be a legitimate stance. The people that are suppose to save lives are people that you want to trust when it comes to any kind of medical procedures. On the other hand, if something is created to save lives and has proven to do so in research and over decades; why would you not do it?

Anna Hunsucker
2 April 2015

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